Ben Fritz is an editor for The Wall Street Journal. He previously covered Hollywood for the Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Variety. He is creator, host and reporter of the recently released podcast With Great Power: The Rise of Superhero Cinema. His book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies was an L.A. Times best-seller and was named best non-fiction book at the 2018 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. He is also co-author of the New York Times best-seller All the President’s Spin, released in 2004. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Ben lives in Los Angeles.
“The Avengers.” “Black Panther.” “The Batman.” Whether superhero movies are your favorite reason to go to the multiplex or you’re sick of them, they're inescapable.
Wall Street Journal editor and longtime entertainment industry reporter Ben Fritz set out to understand how this happened and found a story as epic as any you have seen in a theater.
Just 25 years ago, Marvel was bankrupt. Through a series of unlikely events, it went on to produce hit films like “Iron Man,” get sold to Disney for $4 billion, and dominated competitor DC Comics in a clash of cinematic universes. Marvel’s rise features scrappy heroes, unlikely alliances and fierce battles for power.
The four-part podcast “With Great Power: The Rise of Superhero Cinema” tells this epic tale through interviews with the executives, filmmakers, writers and fans who have propelled superheroes to the top of Hollywood. And the finale asks questions about how Marvel` will confront some fans’ superhero fatigue and what that means for the future of the genre.
From Wall Street Journal editor and best-selling author Ben Fritz, The Big Picture chronicles the dramatic shake-up of Hollywood this century that has made super-heroes, sequels and toy franchises inescapable and original movies for adults an endangered species. Drawing on the fruits of the Sony hack and interviews with key players at Marvel, Netflix, Disney, Amazon and more, the L.A. Times best-seller takes readers deep inside Hollywood to show how it has radically changed and what the future of film will be.
Named best non-fiction book of 2018 at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Now available in paperback with a new afterword
“Ben Fritz crafts an electrifying and essential book that chronicles how Hollywood tradition is collapsing and new models are fueling the future. A must-read.”
—Ava DuVernay, director of A Wrinkle in Time and Selma
“The best book on Hollywood I’ve read in a long time. Fritz explains how and why the invasion of the big buck comic book franchises crushed the Hollywood we once knew.”
—Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
“My wife was getting annoyed because I was ignoring her, just diving into this."